Toyota Proace 1.6 D-4D 115 Medium Comfort
What is it?
The new Toyota Proace is the second prong – after the new Hilux – of Toyota’s assault on the commercial market… which started 40 years ago!
Think this looks familiar to the Citroen Dispatch and Peugeot Expert? Well, you’d be right as they’re built in the same French factory – although the Proace has its own unique design features.
- The Proace’s new 1.6-litre diesel engine might say D-4D, but it’s really the PSA HDi diesel unit, shared with the Citroen and the Peugeot. It boasts 114bhp and 300Nm of torque, plus the 53.5mpg figure and 139g/km CO2 emissions figure. On the road, it doesn’t feel massively fast, but the solid low-down torque impresses – almost pulling you down the road that you notice first, with the Proace feeling very sprightly from low-down the rev-range.
- With a light load in the back, the Proace rides very well indeed. In fact, the load in the back got over the fact that this Toyota van bounces over crests – due to the heavy-duty suspension.
- Outside, apart from the unique Toyota nose, the Proace has the same modern, distinctive, wheel-at-each-corner design as the Citroen and the Peugeot. Highlights include the bulging arches, car-like low cab height, tall bonnet, wide grille and the large front headlights.
- Inside, the driving position is lower and more car-like than you’d expect. The horizontal dashboard design keeps up the illusion that you’re in a car too. Our test van wasn’t fitted with it, but another Proace interior highlight was the seven-inch Toyota Pro-Touch seven-inch infotainment screen.
- Our test Proace was in the expected most-popular trim for the UK market – Comfort. It includes remote central locking with deadlocks, cruise control with speed limiter, power windows and mirrors and a DAB radio.
- The new Proace Medium shares the same 3,275mm wheelbase as the Long, with 5.3m3 load capacity. However, if it’s fitted with the clever Smart Cargo system, where loads can come through into the cabin on the passenger side, this increases load space to 5.8m3.
- The Proace feels as solidly made as the Citroen and Peugeot sister vans, but unlike these, the Toyota get the extra security of a five-year, 100,000- mile warranty, but we wish the interior felt more special.
- The Proace’s dashboard design might look car-like, but the interior plastics all feel low-rent and as though they’ll scratch and mark easily.
- The engine might be pokey, but the Proace’s drive is distinctly average. The steering lacks any feel and the six-speed manual transmission lacks finesse.
- The Safety and Security Pack includes impressive kit usually found in cars. The Forward Collision Warning prompts the driver if an imminent collision is detected and a Pre-Collision system primes the van’s safety systems before an impact occurs – shame it’s an option!
Toyota’s second-generation Proace will win more van driving friends than in the past because the diesel engine is willing and frugal, it looks great, has many clever design features and has a suite of car-like safety kit.
With the new Proace, we reckon it’s going to be tougher to forget Toyota when picking a mid-sized van and with the long warranty it’s sure to steal sales from the Citroen and Peugeot sister vans. We just wish it was better to drive.
Lowdown on Toyota Proace 1.6 D-4D 115 Medium Comfort:
|On the road price (ex VAT):||£21,206|
|Load width (max):||1,258mm|
|Load capacity:||5,300 litres|
|Towing capacity braked/unbraked:||n/a|
|Engine:||1.6-litre four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel|
|Economy (claimed combined):||53.5mpg|